A fine and powerful model of a Lioness Carrying an Antelope, this is a somewhat reduced version of Fratin's Lioness Feeding Her Cubs and beautifully opposes his right-facing work of a Lioness Carrying an Ostrich. The larger group of the Lioness Feeding Her Cubs is noted in Lami's text as having been presented at Salon in 1835 as no. 2253, Lionne apportant une proie à ses lionceaux and that an example in terracotta was given to the Musé2 de Compiégne by Fratin.
The present example is cast posthumously during the fourth quarter of the 19th century; it is an inordinately well cast piece with carefully captured detail and texture in both figures as well as a highly complex base. Typical of Fratin's vigorous and distinctive impasto technique in modeling his objects with exacting anatomical details juxtaposed against impressionistic treatments of the surface, the result is rather moving and magnetic. The base is signed "FRATIN" on a rock amongst the foliage. It retains the complex original reddish-brown patina with hints of black in the recesses. The construction is notable with all elements affixed to the base with peened posts through the underside.
Literature & Further Reading: E. Benezit Dictionary of Artists, Vol. V, Gründ, 2006, p. 1044
Bronzes of the Nineteenth Century: A Dictionary of Sculptors, Pierre Kjellberg, p. 322-27, see p. 322-23 for Lioness Feeding Her Cubs
The Animaliers, James Mackay, p. 61-65, p. 146-47
The Bronzes of "Les Animaliers", Jane Horswell, p. 81
Art Bronze, Michael Forrest, p. 475
Animals in Bronze, Christopher Payne, 2002, p. 404
Dictionnaire des Sculpteurs de L'École Française, Vol. II, Stanislas Lami, p. 403-405
Measurements: 10 3/4" H x 16 3/8" W x 6 5/8" D
Condition Report: Minor patina wear to edge of base, scratch to patina in cove of base, minor handling wear to relief points. In fine original condition.
“Lioness Carrying an Antelope” French Bronze Sculpture by Christophe Fratin